Thursday, June 12, 2014

Mid Michigan

Enough is enough!   We’ve been home for over 2 months.  All of H’s doctor appointments and checkups have been met.   My eye surgery was April 15th and I have healed VERY well.  I can now read street signs and I can go outside without BOTH a baseball cap AND my huge sunglasses!   My garden is planted and most of the “crops” are doing great – the tomatoes have blossoms and the peas have pods.   However, H is restless and it was way past time to uncover the “condo” and take her out for a spin!   We headed NORTH up US 23!  Our first stop of the day was for breakfast at a well-known Michigan “travelers” restaurant called Tony’s.   Thru out the state they are best known for the amount of bacon served with their huge breakfasts!   H ordered eggs, potatoes and of course the bacon.  I ordered eggs and toast! They do not serve just 2 eggs but 3!   H’s week’s worth of food came out on a platter and the bacon was piled at least 10 inches high!  We split the potatoes and both gorged on the bacon and still took home a “to go” boxful and chomped on it for the rest of the week!  Off of 23 is another famous Michigan town – Frankenmuth.  It is as German as it sounds, only modern and full of tourist shops, architecture and, of course, Bronner’s Christmas Shop.  It’s always a must to park and walk from one end of downtown, across the bridge, to the other end of all the German themed shops and restaurants, checking them out as we stroll to see if anything has changed since our last visit.  Our final stop was in Bay City at the Bay City State Park.  It was Wednesday and Michigan schools are still in session so the park was pretty empty!  A few weeks from now and that won’t be the case!  When asked where in Michigan you are from, a Michigander will raise his left hand and point to a spot on the back of it!  We live in the extreme lower right at the very base of the thumb and wrist.  Bay City is just above the joint where the thumb meets the hand.  That open area is the Saginaw Bay and the thumb area is called – The THUMB!!  Go figure!  On our second day we went exploring and ended up at the tip of the thumb.  The lay of the land was extremely flat and the agriculture went from potatoes to sugar beets.
To enlarge pictures just click on a picture

When the road ran closer to the waters edge we got our views of Saginaw Bay and then as we rounded the top of the vast peninsula, we looked out over one of the 5 beautiful Great Lakes - Lake Huron.  Grand Harbor was our last stop and we had to check out their man made harbor.  A grated walkway led out over the sandy beach till it reached a massive cement breakwall that jetted out into the lake. Its long curved arm provided much needed protection for the many moored boats nestled at the marina from the wind and waves coming off the rolling blue green waters.  The winds were calm and the air was warm while we were on land but once we ventured out to the end of that wall, we were both wishing we had our jackets to ward off the cold winds.

The next leg of our adventure led us thru Midland and Mt Pleasant Michigan to a picturesque lake that was only one in an extensive chain of small pretty lakes.  Tubbs Lake State Forest Campground is not just rustic but it is PRIMITIVE.  Outhouse and pitcher pump!  Of course the “condo” has its own “facilities” and H brought the Honda generator, so we were good!   Our campsite was one of the prettiest that we have ever been blessed to park in!  Situated up on a small sandy cliff, it overlooked a lake that would make you feel like you were up in Canada!  A pair of loons floated by each morning and evening and their melodious calls floated on the quiet night air.  During the daylight hours there was a gentle breeze that kept the mosquitoes at bay. The lengthy course of the lakes and rivers that joined them were lined with cattails filled with Redwing Blackbirds or vast sections of floating waterlily pads and bright yellow lotus blooms that also had more than their share of darting, diving birds.  As we slowly cruised by one such section, I noticed a baby Canada goose all alone, while 2 families of geese were grazing up on shore.   It was stuck and was struggling to get away from the goofy looking craft that was going so close by him.  H circled back around and cut the motor. The baby was panicking and diving under water to escape!  As I grabbed him and gently lifted him out of the water, I found a fishhook stuck in its tummy and fish line cutting into its small black leg.  Once on board, he lay quietly in H’s lap while H cut the hook and removed it.   I cut the fishing line and unwound it from where it was embedded around its leg.  Back in the water, he squawked and called for his folks!  I never even got a picture till he was safely back with his family and we were back on our way. 

Our third and last stop was to another of our favorite Michigan campgrounds in Hart.  Hart is in the middle of asparagras country and we just missed their annual Asparagras Festival.  But we did not miss the Silver Lake Sand Dunes.  See Previous Michigan Blogs and you’ll see H’s truck (and previous Jeep Liberty) proudly poised at the top of the high white sand dunes!  It was a quiet day on the dunes so we aired the tires back up and went to re-visit the little touristy town of Pentwater, which sits on the shore of one of the other Great Lakes – beautiful blue Lake Michigan!  We did our usual stroll thru town and inspected the 3 story antique store before checking out the Charles Mears State Park, nestled behind a large dune on another of Lake Mich’s sandy beaches.  The whole campground is one big sandy beach!

Oh well – the rainstorms are coming in so it was time to head for home.